tv Charlie Rose PBS December 11, 2013 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
>> #01: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with general ray odierno, the u.s. army, chief of staff. >> i am talking about preventing conflict so for me, one of the things we do is we provide that ability to prevent conflict and what it is is about deterrence and so it is about having, ensuring people think you have the capability, air and naval, land, to conduct operations that would maybe make them think about what they are doing, and as we move to the future we need to make sure we don't lose that ability to deter and make sure it is still something that the president has as an option. iit certainly shouldn't be the first option and i think no president would say it is but i think it is certainly one you want to sustain. i think that's what we are trying to do now is try to sustain that capability. >> we conclude this evening with julian fellowes who created downton abbey. >> but as the show continues, you realize that what these two
groups have in common is far more than what separates, and so when we go through the war, when we have these different elements, they are all responding in a kind of, you know, human way to these things and they are together in it, they are together in the war, and together in a lot of it. i mean, it sounds terribly pollyanna, really, but i do believe that for most people on earth, what we share in terms of the human experience is much more important than what separates us. >> od and fellowes when we odierno and fellowes when we continue, funding for charlie rose was provided by the following.
>> rose: additional funding provided by these funders. >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. everybody is that we agreed to take about $800 billion worth of cuts, approximately 300 more that what secretary gates suggested, 487 that we agreed to and those are based on downsizing a little bit, getting more efficient, providing a force that is more effective. >> rose: ray odierno is here, he is a four-star general and the 38th chief of staff of the united states army. he is best known for successfully implementing 2007 surge and for his units capture
of saddam hussein exactly ten years ago, i am pleased to welcome general odierno to this table. >> thank you, it is great to be here. >> rose: take me back to that moment and what that meant. >> well, at the time, it was important. we had been really looking for him for about six months, you know, we had started in about june of 2003 and we had figured out early on that we were going about it wrong in the beginning. we were worried, we had the cards and you had the faces on the cards and we thought they were somehow related but we realized they weren't, what it was about is understanding who is trustful in the circle wise, it had a lot to do with family and people he grew up with and so, you know, working very closely with our special operations forces we started to put the puzzle together. we probably did 30, 40 raids thinking we were close, but finally, you know, on december 13th we got him and, you know, we thought we had a pretty good lead but i remember
waiting and getting the call that in fact we had, the code number one we had captured number one and at the time it was very important, because, you know, we went in and toppled his regime, you know, with him still out there there was always a question of what would that mean? so i think it was very important for us to capture and make sure he would never be able to come back and terrorize the iraqi people. >> what did we learn from him once he was captured? >> i am not sure how much we learned. i think we learned a little bit about the inner workings of the government. we learned about how, in fact, he fooled all his people that worked for him. you know,. >> rose: that is the interesting point, isn't it? >> it is. >> he was not trying to fool the united states. >> right. >> rose: but his own people so they would be in fear. >> yes. >> rose: and the iranians. >> what was interesting is my comment, all the generals i talked to are part of the regime, they were absolutely -- and they still are to this day they would still argue we had nuclear weapons, we had chemical
weapons, they were there, they have been moved and hidden somewhere. they all still believe that. >> rose: that's what they thought. >> and still believe it today and we just didn't find them and so it is very interesting, so people always ask how -- when your own people and the people closest to you, who are your generals think you have it, then you understand maybe why we certainly believed he had them as well. and so it is very interesting. as i look back on that i say to myself, why didn't he just let the inspectors come in but for him that was weakness, that showed weakness and he had to be -- he had to continue to show that he was in charge of that regime, that he was a leader in that region and by admitting he didn't have these weapons, i think he felt it would show that he had a significant amount of weakness. >> do you believe he thought that we would never attack? >> i absolutely believe that. i think he thought he was to be able to handle it and that we would not come in there. >> rose: so -- >> it would not be what it was.
there would not be regime change. we would put a little pressure on and maybe negotiate a little more. you know, of course there are lots of varying opinions on that but he miscalculated and i think as i look to now in the future i start to worry about is miscalculations by other leaders based on their interpretation of our actions. >> rose: talk about that because that really is crucial, isn't it? >> it is. so, you know, as we -- i talk about preventing conflict and so for me, one of the things we go is we provide that ability to prevent conflict and what it is is about deterrence, and so it is about having and ensuring people think you have the capability, air and naval, land, to conduct operations that would maybe make them think about what they are doing and we have to make sure we don't lose that ability to deter. and make sure it is still something that the president has as an option, it certainly shouldn't be the first option and i think no president would say it is, but i think it is certainly one you want to sustain, i think that's what we
are trying to do is sustain that capability. >> rose: and you also, i assume, were the reaction, what happens on day two? >> yes. that's right. i mean, so, you know, the lesson that we have learned, the lesson, my lesson from iraq and really the last ten or 12 years in afghanistan as well is that we knew what to do to top it will regime. >> rose: right. >> we didn't know what to do after we top it would regime because we didn't have an understanding of what i call the societal devastation that has occurred inside of iraq for 20 years before we got there. we didn't understand the depth of issues between the shia population and sunni and shia and kurdish so we relied on others that provided us that information which really was not true because they were ex-patriots who hadn't been in the country for a long time, long time as well so we underestimated and didn't understand so if we had known that i think we might have been gone about doing things a bit differently. >> rose: and fair enough, and why didn't we know that? is.
>> well, i mean if you think about it we had very limited access, so we didn't have, you know, people on the ground, understand we had -- it had been a while, and i think, you know, what we do is we -- >> rose: i thought, even though we had a relationship before with kuwait and helped them in terms of the iron wrap -- >> yes, but what we underestimated was sanctions did have an impact. >> rose: right. >> that changed, i think, the regime began to change after we kicked them out of kuwait. i think that somewhat had more of a significant impact than we thought on the regime. but we just didn't understand the -- unless you are there, i think it is very difficult to understand how much suppression went on inside of that government. and it didn't matter if you were a sunni, shy a, a shia, it was ever oppressed and the violence, there was testimony to that, yes. >> rose: when you look at that
war and for all of us who like history you look back and there seems to be a rising level of violence there. >> yes. yes. i mean, so my view of this is, first, i think when we left, we had the violence was at a very low level, we had set up for success a country that if they were willing to move forward politically, that it would move forward successfully, politically and economically, it had in fact moved forward economically, the revenue is up, oil is up but what happens is you continue to have this distinct mistrust between the three major groups, the sunni, the shia and the kurds and in fact even among shia you have some mistrust so, and so what has happened is these political differences overtime, you have this growing animosity, this
growing mistrust and others exploit this and then you start to have violence so you see al qaeda trying to exploit it on the sunni side. >> rose: my next question is, is al qaeda coming back and how strong are they becoming? >> there is probably some iraqi nationalists doing it and some al qaeda doing it. >> rose: or al qaeda affiliates? >> yes, al qaeda affiliates and sometimes you have them joining together. >> rose: right. >> because they might have a common goal to over throw this government. and then you have internal shia strife a little bit, you have iranian influence because of their concerns, and what they do to support -- so you see all of these things come together and the kurds, obviously have their own, you know, fall on how it should turn out and there always has been some mistrust between kurds and the government itself and so i think we just have watched this play out. >> rose: haven't we watched within the areas that the kurds control, or significant economic development. >> yes. >> rose: and they are doing reasonably well. >> never doing very, very well ba. >> up in northern iraq, every
time you go back there, it is incredible the difference that you see. continuing to grow, a lot of investment by turkey in those areas, and relatively secure, there was a bombing there recently the first one in many, many years, so they have been able to maintain relative security as well. >> rose: you know, you face the anybodying of of having the troops remain or not. >> right. >> rose: they may all be out by 2014. can you have them all out by 2014? >> we can. i hope we don't have to. in afghanistan we are making some very good progress. i was over there in august and i will go back in january. >> how do you define progress? >> what has happened is the the afghan military has taken complete control of security and they voluntary done it through this last fighting season as we call it and stood up very well. and they have performed very well. and so we think now they have the capability to provide the security for the nation. so the next step -- >> as strong a force as the al
taliban is? >> they have proven it, they have the will, which is important but i still think we have to help them to build institutions that allow them to sustain this over a long period of time. >> including the police? >> the police, yes, and they have improved as well. they have established some local police that have been effective. but it is about how they sustain it over a long period of time and that takes institutional development and continued leader development and i think the post 2014 force that would be doing those kind of things, leader development, institutional development, it allows them to sustain it. >> rose: are you talking 10,000 people? >> it would be something along those lines. and the president would make that decision and he hasn't make made it yet. >> rose: what would a difference be, were there troops in iraq if they negotiated an agreement. >> it would make a difference, having a u.s. presence there, would, if nothing else, we became an agent that would continue to allow people to reconcile with each other, if we
were there and i think we have more confidence and a bit more trust between the entities if we were there to help with that but unfortunately, it didn't happen. and in my mind it is a shame. >> rose:. >> i haven't given up on iraq, i will say, i still think there is hope. >> rose: hope for what? >> well, i think with, you know, the economy growing, if we can get the right political leaders to sit down and talk,, you know, overtime, i think we can move forward, but, you know, as we watch the middle east, there is growing concern, the problem is bigger than syria, it is bigger than iraq, it is bigger than lebanon. >> rose: it is what? >> because of this sunni, shia divide we are seeing. >> rose: and playing out in every place. >> and many places. >> rose: including syria. a. so for us that is somethingw. so we want that -- you know, we certainly -- nobody wants to see that happen and we think there is so much potential in that region but it is something we
are going to have to watch as we go forward. >> rose:. >> let's go back to iraq for one second. >> yes. >> rose: because here is a quote, and you will appreciate this. >> sure. >> this is fred indicating again who said about you and general competent address in 2008 after you returned from iraq, great commanders often come in pairs, eisenhower and patton, grant and sherman, napoleon and dubois, general competent address and odierno can be added to the list, that the subordinate in every successful campaign pair played a key role in designing and implementing the campaign plan and that history does not always justly appreciate such contributions. in your words, why did the surge work? all of us understand that the awakening was taking place, and therefore you put in additional american troops. but it has got to be much more complicated that than that. >> i would argue the opposite,
awakening realized when we put more troops in. >> rose: it wasn't the example -- >> but they were very -- but they were very small, i mean, so what had happened is we had gone through a time of almost civil war between the sunni and shia about, but when the americans came in with greater numbers we were able to go over greater distances, cover more areas, and the people felt much more comfortable than, coming forward because they were tired of the violence, al qaeda had worn out its welcome on the sunni side, they didn't want interference from iran, and so when we decided to put more people on the ground, it gave them more confidence, and that is when they really started to come forward and so in my mind, that is -- they were ready to do it, we then provided them the security to do it. there are also a couple of other things. it was about getting out among the population, it was about us understanding that we had to be out there with the iraqis and with the iraqi army and police to make them feel comfortable, that they felt secure, once they
felt secure they would come forward and tell us who the individuals that weren't trying to provide peace and security in the region, so it was getting them out among the people, about regang their trust, and with the more additional forces that we had, it enabled us to do that. and it enabled us then to conduct more broader operations and more specific targeted operations on only those individuals that were leading and conducting the violence inside of iraq so it enabled us to do that together with our special operations forces so all of that came together. , you know, for me the big realization in all of this was we were always focused inside of baghdad, i had a conversation with a couple of the iraqi leaders when i initially got over there for the third -- the second time and they told me, you know, really the key is always the outside of baghdad, the ring around baghdad, that is really what controls what goes on inside of baghdad and then we uncovered a map in one of our raids from al qaeda and the al
qaeda plan was to control the outskirts of baghdad, so i then realized, okay that's what we have to focus on, we have to control the access to baghdad and so we put a lot of effort into putting some people more in baghdad but also taking control north, south, east, west of baghdad and putting a ring around it where it made it very difficult for people to come in and out. and so it was a combination of all of those things and that's what we needed the additional people which allowed us to provide better security, but in reality, the success was on the backs of the young commanders, the captains, the lieutenant colonels, colonels and the soldiers who executed this and did it with the ability to adapt and the flexibility they showed, inc. knew at this they showed in executing this was important. so what i learned as a leader is i have to give them left and right limits and let them operation operate within those limits and what they were able to achieve is quite significant and we see the same thing going on in afghanistan as well.
>> rose: again, so when you killed, what was the name of the al qaeda leader? i want to say waz her i are. >> yes, yes. >> killed by forces under the command of general mcchrystal, i think. >> yes. >> rose: is that correct? did that break the back of al qaeda? >> what that was .. it didn't break the back of al qaeda but it was a signal that. >> rose: we can find him and kill you. >> we can find you, no matter who you are, if you are a leader in al qaeda we can find and kill you and that was a strong message, there were people that came up behind him and continued to lead so al qaeda went on for -- that happened in 2006 so they continued on for, very strongly for another year and a half or so but it extent a strong message and also it enabled us to understand that we had the capabilities to do this, and working together, the special operations and conventional forces we continued to improve our abilities. we understood what it took to
work together, we understood how we passed information, we understood this strong link between these two kinds of forces would make us even more successful and we built on that you know, it was interesting, as general mcchrystal and i in 2003, we were both younger at the time and in different jobs but we came together with some leaders of the special operations command in the summer of 2003 and started talking about this cooperation, and that's what led us -- >> rose: between -- >> between the fourth infantry division and special forces which ultimately led too the capture of saddam hussein and led to the capture of some other key members of the regime. and so that began it and we started to carry that on and then general mcchrystal continued to refine and prove the tactics he was using, when we refined and approved how conventional forces would be operable with him and as that went on we got better and better and we see it playing out in afghanistan as well. >> rose: much has been written
by tom ricks and others about that you went to iraq as one person, as one army officer. >> yes. >> rose: and you came out of iraq as a different kind of army officer. >> yes. >> rose: in your own words. >> yes, i would just say, i think it is mischaracterized a little bit. >> rose: a little bit? >> but we all change. i mean we all learn. the key of being a key leader is you have to continue to constantly learn. >> rose: what did you learn? >> i learned a couple of things. i learned first that in order to be successful in this environment and in the future environments you have got to take a multipronged approach. the thing i learned most is you have to ask the question why? why is something a happening? because it is not that it happened or what happened, it is why it happened. if you understand why something happened, then you can pick the tool that is the best tool to
solve that problem. and in some cases we were picking the wrong tool to solve a problem. and you have got to understand some of the tools are, you have to use full military power to do it, some is, you might have to use economic ability, you might have to do some social things, you might have to do some political things. but even, if you figure out why something happened then you can come up with the right solution. and i think early on i didn't think about the why enough. but as i grew more experienced, i understood we had to understand why this event was happening and then once we understood that, we could figure out the right tools. and -- or we could give the commanders the right information so they could figure out the right tools to use. and i think that is what i learned and that's why i am, as i looked to the future, as i developed our leaders of the future it is about them understanding how to operate in these complex environments and you must understand the social
economic aspects, the culture and everything else. >> rose: and the religious. >> and the religious so you can determine why something happened and then come up with a much better solution to come up with a solution. >> rose: and that's what you are trying to teach. >> yes. that's right. and all of our military schools, our war colleges, staff colleges, we are changing how we do this. >> rose: yes. there is this. and you do think this is an accurate criticism in iraq and in afghanistan we didn't use those -- we, even if we asked a question why, or you asked the question, we didn't use the tools as well as we would have liked? for whatever reason, whether it was corruption, whether it was security issues, the employment of those cultural, economic, social, religious understandings did not come into play in the way you envisioned? >> in the beginning, for sure, and we have learned it as we went ahead and as we learned more we got a hell of a lot better at it is what i would
say. now, there are a couple of lessons i learned, though. you know, in terms of when you come into a place where what i call there is instability and a terment is what were the drivers of instability, so what was really driving instability? was it security? was it fear? was it the fact nobody had any jobs was it the fact that they -- that there is a combination of no jobs and trying to raise a family? and so what we had to figure out is, once we figured out what was driving the instability, that allowed us to put the right tools and that's what we learned. you have to understand what those drivers of instability are? why is it happening? what is causing this? and, you know, we learned that you have to -- it is a joint effort, it has on the an interagency effort, intergovernmental and even with
nongovernmental organizations, and you have got to figure out where you have common objectives and common goals and work together to solve those, it took us a while to understand that. and it took a while for some of the other organizations to trust us to work with us, whether it be the u.n., with it be ngos, even, working to the and building a organization within the state department, so that happened on the ground. we don't want that to happen again. we want to have those relationships built now, prior. so we understand how to work. we understand each other, even our own cultures and how we can work together and what we are trying to accomplish. so if we have to go somewhere else, we are already prepared to work in this multinational, multigovernment environment we have to work in. >> what did you learn from your experience there about interrogation? >> well a couple of things, first, we went in in the beginning we thought it was going to be like desert storm so we thought we would get some prisoners and put them to the rear for a month and turn them
all loose and it would be done. we had no idea that we would have to detain people for such a long period of time. as well as we didn't -- and then an counterinsurgency type of information you have to get information for targeting. and so we weren't prepared, to be frank. we didn't train properly our people. we didn't have the proper oversight. because we didn't expect to have to do this for such a long period of time. so i think we went into it in trial and error in some cases and maybe thinking about how maybe it used to be done or done under different conditions. and so it took us -- you know, unfortunately we had to have serious incidents for us to figure out how you properly do interrogation. it is a very difficult question, because when people's lives are at stake, you want to get the information as quickly as possible, we also learned you get information that may not be the right information so there are certain ways to do -- >> rose: they will do anything to stop the pain. >> that's right so you have to understand that and you have to
understand, you know,, there are better ways to do this and we learned how to do that. >> rose: and what are the better ways? >> well, i think it is just -- it is about consistent interrogation, it is about believe it or not but building a relationship with the person you are dealing with and overtime you get good information. >> you have said that, that is true but i wonder whether the on hand experience is true. at some point people under enormous papain and stress will say anything to stop the pain, on the other hand -- >> but there is a contract with this. and so the conundrum you have is, if you think a big recent is going to happen where, can you wait three-month to finally -- >> rose: because they told you the big event is going to happen. >> so if it is going to happen tomorrow so you have to figure out. >> rose: you don't have time to build a relationship. >> that's right. that's the conundrum you have as you solve this problem but, you know,, in our military, we have to represent the moral and
ethical values of this country. no matter what the situation is. and that is important that we do that. and in some cases, it got away from us a little bit. >> rose: what does that mean? in some cases it got away from you? >> what i would say. >> rose: post 9/11 world -- >> what i would say is, the most difficult thing for the military is you go out on an operation and you see your best trend killed or the next day you go out and see your best friend lose two legs and it is about controlling your emotions, so that we continued to focus on the mission and do it the proper way and we don't let our emotions get caught up with ourselves because when emotions get caught up which this is very easy to say but difficult to do, you do things that are not in line with our values in our military and country, and you run into maybe improper interrogation, use, use of
improper force, you know, so and it gets us into trouble because ultimately something like that will cause people to lose faith in us and other people, our enemies will attempt to exploit that. so one of the things we have to continue to talk about is the importance of maintaining these moral and ethical values that allow us to do the job, do it right, and i believe overall that gives us the respect that we need in order to execute these very complex operations. it is very important that the american people believe in us, whenever we are asked to do something, i think the large majority of them do. but it is important that we sustain that. >> rose: sequestration is having what impact on the army? >> well, pretty significant, you know, full sequestration -- so with full sequestration we will significantly reduce the size of the army about 26 percent of the army. >> rose: how does that play out in terms of -- >> so -- and it plays out in many different ways, so as i
look to the future you want an army that is going to be expeditionary, global response, regionally engaged around the world and we have to be capable to conflict conflicts, shaping the world in a safe way and if necessary win, but the problem we have now is sequestration, let's put aside the bottom line number. the problem you have is the way it is executed is leaving us with very difficult decisions as chief of staff of the army i have a triangle. i have readiness, and strength and modern station, i have to keep those in balance. >> rose: what is the second one. >> modernization and end strength which is the size of the army. >> rose: right. >> i have to keep those in the right balance so we stay ready, we continue to modernize, and we have to balance out with the right end strength, because of sequestration we are now out of balance. because i can't take the people out fast enough to meet the bottom line numbers so i have to not to take some readiness, modernization out until i get all the numbers out which could take me three or four more
years. and so what happens is i now have a force that is not quite as ready as i want, not as modern as i want and won't be for another two or three years. so that is why the way in has been executed has been problematic for us. so, you know, if you ask what keeps me up at night i might be asked to do something and i am going to have to send soldiers into harm's way not properly ready. and to me that is not taking care of our young men and women. and so. >> rose: but are you saying that's the reality today? >> that's the reality today and will be for the next two or three years. >> rose: you have to send men and women in harm's way who are not prepared. >> i might have to, in afghanistan we are just sending in advisors so we can train them to be advisors and they are trained to do that mission and protect themselves but if i had a unknown contingency today and i had to send 50,000 soldiers right now i probably would have about 20,000 that are trained to the level that we believe is the
right level and i have about 30,000 that wouldn't quite be ready so i am now, what i have to do is by the end of next summer put every dollar that i have into making sure i can train about 50,000 soldiers so they are prepared but that leaves the rest of the army with not enough money to maintain the level of training we think they need if we have an extended conflict or more than one small conflict that we might have to respond to. that is what i have to deal with for the next two or three years and that is what is concerning to me and that's the biggest impact of sequestration for us. >> what is your fear about syria? >> well, my view is, you know, what started out as do you change the regime in syria is now a much different problem. you know, my thoughts are everything in the middle east are linked to each other. >> rose: yes. >> so, you know, we have this fight over the regime. >> rose: take an easy example, when the iranians, through hezbollah are supporting one side in syria. >> right. >> rose: and --
>> you have saudi arabia and you maybe have in some cases sunni extremist groups supporting the other side, it is now spilling over into lebanon. >> rose: right. >> it is spilling over to iraq or in iraq. so the worry is, is this is going to expand itself across the entire middle east is what i worry about. now, syria, you know, the chemical weapons piece, that seems to be so far going okay, if we can get the chemical weapons out that is big. and that will help. but it still will not relieve this pressure we are seeing between the sunni and shia that is playing out and i worry what does that mean in the future? and so what we don't want people to miscalculate and overreact, and that is the concern. >> rose: you know people like ron crock whore is a very smart guy, you know him. >> i know him very well. >> rose: in afghanistan he is saying maybe we have to rethink our relationship with assad.
because of -- i realize this is diplomacy, not military, but because of the strength -- how many people have poured in? >> i think this is an incredibly -- >> this is incredibly complex problem. and, you know, there is there are lots of ideas, i think the best way is, you know, this is going to have to be in the end a multinational solution. >> rose: and does what russia and the united states do with respect to chemical weapons, offer the possibility of that? >> we will have to see. >> a first step toward that. >> potentially but we also need the countries in the region to be participating in this as well. >> including iran? >> i think that would be the best shrawtion where we get people to agree we have to listen, we have to come -- let's -- you know, we have to -- let's take a look at this. what is happening to the region but again that is politically i think there has to be some discussion that way because what i worry if it continues on we
will find ourselves in a real mess. , you know,, the president has been pretty clear for him, the parties are -- weapons of weapons of mass destruction, making sure they stay secure and terrorism, you know, all three of those could end up playing out in this scenario, along with flow of oil, although united states the working on energy independence, there are many of our allies and other countries that are so affected by the flow of oil it impacts the united states. >> rose: so the consequences of, consequence of war that would lead to interruption of energy sources and, therefore, a huge impact on the power balance. >> that's right. >> rose: in the region. >> and we know that terrorism goes to ungoverned regions so if more regions become ungoverned by this violence and by this uncertainty then you the worry of terrorism and obviously anything, any country that has wmd, we don't want wmd getting in the wrong hands and that becomes a real problem.
so, you know, those are things we have to watch out for and i think in my mind those are things that threaten the united states and so we have to, i think the president has been clear, he talked specifically about those three things, in berlin, so i think that's what we have to watch for as we look at the middle east in the future. >> rose: did you read dexter fill kin filkins piece about iran. >> i did. >> rose: what did you think? >> it is good, a very thought provoking piece, i have studied him for many years. >> rose: i know. >> while i was in iraq. >> rose: i assumed that because david competent address communicated with him and they send messages. >> through surrogates. we both did that. >> rose: yes. so it is said that he -- this is the leader of forces, is frequently in damascus. >> i can't inspect for that but what i do know is one of the concerns throughout the middle east is that this web of the kurds force extends its tentacles in many different places in the middle east and in
my mind creating instability. >> rose: in is an iranian -- >> and that's part of the issue we have to be very clear about. >> rose: he almost has only one boss, the "to larks it is said. >> ayatollah, it is said .. >> i can't comment on the inner workings i couldn't tell you that for certain. >> rose: but you are fascinated by his operation and you have to be as part of your own responsibility. >> that's right. it is something you just have to be aware of and i think for us, again, for me, again, this is about instability, and we have to watch very carefully. >> rose: it is interesting and i will leave you with this, you have meetings to go to, it is interesting to me we have now in play diplomatically palestine, sir i can't chemical als weapon, and iranian negotiations with e-5 plus one taking place at the same time. >> yes. >> and all of these parties are
somehow connected, as we said, iran has a certain interest in assad, and it connects them to hezbollah, and hezbollah is fighting in syria. >> right. >> rose: and the saudis are watching with great concern, and a lot of -- and it just goes on and on and on, and it just -- all of those forces which have this enormous lethal powers and if this spreads, at the same time diplomatically things are in motion now which would seem to be perhaps a good thing. well, all of us in uniform, i guess i can't speak for everybody but a large majority of us in uniform are always happy when we are trying to come up with some diplomatic solution to these problems. i think it is always important, it is never bad to talk to people and try to work out and see if we can come to some agreement. you know, for us, my job is to make sure we are prepared in case it doesn't. >> rose: right. >> and that's what we focus on. that doesn't mean we like to do it, that just means it is our
responsibility. >> rose: i think general sherman who said war is hel helh but at the same time it is often said that, that is the military people, most of all who least likely, who least like to go to war. >> anybody who has experienced war will never want to do it again unless they have to because they understand the sacrifices, they understand the chaos, they understand the sacrifice that goes on, you know, unfortunately i have several friends and several young men and women who i know personally who have given their lives for this country, who have given, who have been severely injured for their country, who did it because they wanted to protect our security, and so i will be prepared and i will do everything i can to get our soldiers prepared to do that, but those of white house have experienced, you don't want to do it unless you have to, but when we do it, we will be damned good at it when we have to do it because that helps preserve our young men and women which is our
national treasure. >> rose: that's what the country expects he of you and the president. >> yes. >> rose: thank you. >> thank you. >> rose: glad to have you hear. >> thank you very much. >> rose: back in a moment. stay with us. >> it is a mixer. it beats eggs and creams and all sorts. >> you and i can do that. i would be glad not to thank you very much. >> what have you got there. >> her ladyship, she wants to -- >> i just don't understand. before too long, her ladyship could run the kitchen with a lady from the village. >> rose: julian fellowes is here, writer of downton abyss, the show has won nine emmy awards and gained millions of fans around the world, after a yearlong hiatus downton abbey returns to master piece on pbs in january. here is a teaser for the fourth series. >> you have a choice before you. you must choose death or life.
>> he is not an orphan. he has his mother. it is getting harder and harder. >> i will be your friend forever. >> the country as come back to us. >> the house is at full strength again. >> downton abbey returns to master piece, only on pbs. >> rose: i am pleased to have julian fellowes back at this table. welcome. good to see you. >> nice to be here. >> rose: are you ready for a new season? >> well, you know, it has gone over well in the uk. >> rose: i think so. >> and it is always kind of a relief, the longer wrote now on with these things you think oh i hope it still has its sort of punch but we seem to be okay. >> rose: take us back because we haven't talked about this, how you created this. >> how it originally came amount like everything else in my life, complete chance. >> rose: yes. >> i was trying to set up a
different project with the producer gareth, a novel, and we got it going and it suddenly fell apart so we had a dinner to kind of say good-bye to it and in the middle he said have you ever thought of going back into this territory for television? and the funny thing is, i was kind of reluctant, really, i i was sort of like asking him for a second bite at the same cherry and i could read the criticism, which is so much better in the film and i was rather nervous of it abu then in the end i did come around to it because i was intrigued by the idea of writing a series. i had never done that. >> rose: what can we expect this season? >> >> well, i suppose our starting point is manu is dead. >> rose: yes. >> matthew is dead. >> rose: we jump six months and have a six-month gap and we come in and mary has been a widow for six months, and so we
have a slight disagreement in the family as to whether or not it is time she started pulling herself together or she should be allowed to grieve for as long as it takes so they all sort of slightly take one side or the other. and that is quite mice for us, really, because it means we begin on a sort of disagreement, and then mary's return to the land of the living, i suppose is, well, one of the main themes of the series, there are other main themes that go rhett well all the way through, but that is, you know, that is mary's journey. >> rose: roll the tape. >> she is going through a hideous time but now you must remember your son, he needs you very much. >> i know. >> the thing is, i don't think i will be a very academy mother. >> why not? >> because somehow. >> with matthew's death, all of the softness he found in me
seems to have dried up and drained away. maybe it was only there in his imagination. >> there is more than one type of good mother. the fact is, you have a choice before you, a straightforward choice before you. you must choose either death or life. >> rose: i mean i think of the two grandmothers here, you have maggie and shirley maclaine? i mean, how bad -- how good can it get? >> so we have these two women who are almost exact contemporaries in real life but you have got violent grantham, nostalgic for the past, her clothes reflect he is still an edwardian at heart and everything is getting worse whereas shirley is complete difficult the different, completely different.
she a modern clothes and she likes air travel a and all of this stuff. and so they are at the same stage of their lives they are facing in opposite directions and that was fun to do and fun to write. >> rose: you really do feel like these are your babies? every aspects of their personality you have given them? >> well, no, i wouldn't say that actually, because i think -- >> rose: actors do that? >> in writing a series you start out and you write these characters and you cast them and off you go but in the actor's performance, you start to see qualities. >> rose: ah. >> that you begin to write for, and you know they do this kind of thing very well and they -- you know, so gradual he, i remember ms. patmore, the cook who in the very beginning wasn't particularly funny, but once she started to play her you could see she was a very funny woman and she started to become the downstairs violet and to have her sort of cracks about how the whole thing was going, and that, i would say, was a joint
development of me and lesley working together and the same is true of all of them, really, they develop their own characters and then you write to that. which is part of the fun. >> rose: so you have just been renewed for your fifth season? >> i have. >> rose:. >> we have. >> rose: when will that go into production? >> it starts filming in february, which of course is -- >> rose: so you have literally two months. >> well i started already. >> rose: when it is time to shut down, will you know or will the audience tell you? >> ? will the characters come to a place and you say, well, this is where -- >> yes. >> rose: we should say good-bye? >> i don't think we are ready to stop now. >> rose: yes, of course not. >> because our audience is still increasing, in fact the audience for series four was greater than the previous ones, where it has played and so i don't think we are ready to go now. but, no, i don't think we are going to be there, oh you must take them through the next war. >> rose: right, right. >> the sixties and so on, no,
no. >> rose: but you have some sense of it, do you at least want to get them to world war ii? >> i don't think we will get as far as world war ii, for me, the twenties is a much richer vein, really, we have seen a lot about the thirties in over the past 30 years in film and television and so on but the twenties was a much more ambivalent period. at the beginning of the twenties people weren't really curious as to whether the world had changed that much. you know they came back and they went back into service and much of life seemed to be like before the war but as the decade wore on it became clearer and clearer that actually the mindset had changed. people had different expectations. women had different expectations:they wanted more work, more interesting jobs, they wanted knob the workplace, the worker had different expectations. organized labor, i mean things were really changing completely
in the twenties and, you know, you feel the world changing around these people a and in a comparatively short space of time. >> rose: casting, when you lack back, what has been your most brilliant stroke of casting? >> i mean, i wrote -- there were three people i wrote the parts for. >> rose: you had them this mind. >> and one was maggie to play violet, was one was hugh. >> rose: did maggie say, yes, yes, immediately? i mean she is one of the most interest having women we know. >> i don't remember anyone saying yes, yes, immediately, but there was a point where she said yes. >> rose: yes. >> and hugh bonneville for robert grantham, because -- >> rose: you had him in mind. >> i absolutely had him in mind because one of the hardest things to find now is an actor who has that kind of inner niceness, sort of a likability, because we have had unpleasant heroes for so long in films and
television and everyone's violet and ralph shout at each other and that is great too, you know, you don't have to have just one kind of television but there is something in that tradition of the sort of, the more people, jack hawkins, the sort of nice people. >> rose: yes. >> that i missed from the screen and i really wanted to have that in robert grantham and i think he has got that, and the other one was brendan coyle for bates, because what brendan has got is that sense of danger that you never quite feel you know bates, there is all of this sort of stuff going on inside him, but at the same time, he is a symthetic character and i think that is quite a difficult double to bring off for an actor, and i think he does bring it off absolutely marvelously but all the others, you know, when they would -- we would be sent the film, the audition things and i mean they all jumped out of the screen,
really, i remember watching jim carter reading carson and thinking, goll, this is carson, you know, and those moments are lovely, actually. >> rose: you got registered on chinese television, yes? or has it already started? >> it already started, we are doing well on china. >> rose: well in china is a huge number, isn't it? i mean -- >> it is a big addition to the audience, yes. >> rose: and any difference in their reaction to it? at all? that you measured different from the u.s. or from britain? >> or the same thing? >> it seems to have this involving quality, which i can't really a analyze, i mean if i could i wouldn't write anything but international hits, you know, something about the recipe has worked. >> rose: and what is that? >> what is that? i mean, i always remember when i was a little boy my mother used to let me fool around in the kitchen and sort of make things, horrible little gray, you know, cakes. and one day i made perfect
eclairs and i took it out of the oven and they were perfect eclairs and she said to me how did you do it? how did you do? and what did you put in? >> i said, i didn't know, but by accident i had made perfect eclairs and i feel that in downton, by accident, made a perfect eclair. >> did you ever again in your mother's kitchen make perfect eclairs? >> no. >> rose: that was it? >> i just made flat gray things. >> rose: if i can do it once i can do it again, but no. >> no. >> but the essence of it is the relationships, the fact you have two very different classes of people here, but in the end it is how they react and how these people who we look, i am asking , this is a long question, how these people react to not only events around them but the events of the world, you know, and how they in the end connect to each other, it is the individual stories of the personalities you have created, laid against the architecture of
war and decline. >> and change. >> rose: and change. >> yes. i think that is a pretty food analysis. i think that you good analysis. you start seeing the show, oh i get it, there is this group, the family, this group, the servants but as the show continues you realize that what these two groups have in common is far more than what separates them, and so when we go through the war, when we have death, when we have these different elements, they are all responding in a kind of, you know, human way to these things and they are together in it, they are together in the war, and together in a lot of it. i mean, this sound terribly pollyanna, really, but i do believe that for most people on earth, what we share in terms of the human experience is much more important than what separates us, and you have politicians spend so much time trying to make us concentrate on what makes us different.
>> rose: right. >> but actually, i want people to concentrate on what makes us the same. >> rose: yes. and in tragedy you see what happens in terms of those common qualities coming out, i think. >> where. >> rose: take a look at this, with your cast members at this table,. >> the it was a proper page turr by the end of the episode, 18 characters, very i have individually and i think that fascination i had on reading it has translated on the screen, people want to know what happens next to these characters. >> rose: and you get invested in all of their lives and how those lives intersect. >> laid against a canvas of society. >> absolutely, well. >> and what is going on in the world? >> well, that's right. you don't feel it quite so much in the first season, the outside world but that really invades in the second season, with the war years, and the effect of the spanish flu, and the 30s, and we are back to show here in the u.s. is much more about the family and the house again, the world of downton that we have broken to love to see, to see
that plays out. >> rose: it wouldn't be enough just to have th the. >> female speaker:, you need the upstairs and the down tears. >> the yin and the yang, they both affect each other and the lives of the downstairs people completely intertwine with those of the upstairs and you need that contrast i think. >> rose: they did it, they said it pretty well, didn't they? >> oh, yes. i am knack kerd by their enthusiasm. they are wonderfully distinct if the each of them f carson and robert, they sort of weigh equally in the balance, or michelle who plays mary or joanne who plays anna, they weigh equally in their love lives and their private lives and all the rest of it. and i think we were very, very lucky in that, actually. >> rose: what is an average viewing, how many people watch in america on public television do you know? >> i don't know what an average. i know we get -- >> rose: what you get is what
i am asking. >> we get about 20 i didn' 25 mi think. >> rose: 25 million? 25 million? >> don't we? >> how many episnoadz a season? >> well, here, i it has all of changed because they put it into 90 minutes instead of one hour so i never quite know. i think it is about six or seven. it is nine for us. but we have an hour and a half and then we have an hour and so on. >> rose: whatever it is, whatever the number is, it is spectacular, people, i mean just look at the awards, look at the viewer reaction, as the spectacular kind of connection between the character and audience. >> the sort of emotional involvement with these characters. >> rose: exactly. >> and of course they know they are watching fiction and some actress in make-up and she has got on her clothes and walks on the set, however, their eyes are burning as they ask, please,
please make it -- and you realize that you have somehow got below the epidermis you are sort of if an inner life and i find it quite sort of humbling in all of that. >> rose: thank you for coming. >> oh, no, thank you it is really nice of you. >> rose: it is great to see you. the new season of downton abbey, season four and there will be another season, at least one more, on masterpiece on pbs on my birthday, january fifth, there it is. thank you for joining us. see you next time. >>
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